Urgent: The Practice Is Under Immense Pressure

Dear Patients,

This is a very difficult notice to be posting, but as a practice we feel we have no choice.

Over the recent weeks and months there has been an increasing number of abusive behaviour which has become more aggressive in nature aimed at our front line staff and clinicians.

The Red Practice Team has always maintained a high level of tolerance and understanding and putting patients needs at the top of our priorities.

But in recent times we have had a number of our front line team members become visibly upset and brought to tears due to the upset from patients.

We understand these are difficult times. We understand that patient needs are important. We recognise our patients are struggling to get appointments. But there are reasons for this beyond our control.

We ask you to understand why this is the case. None of us want to be here, sitting doing nothing. We are facing the hardest times the practice has ever faced in the past 2-3 decades.

The challenges of recruiting Drs and Nurses are the worst today than ever before. Despite adverts out since early last year, we have only had a handful of interests and speaking to local / and national colleagues, our practice is not alone. There are simply not enough qualified clinicians and hence we are struggling to recruit, which in turn has a knock on affect with the number of appointments.

Demand is 40-50% higher than it was at pre-pandemic levels, and pre-pandemic it was already a struggle to maintain a balance.

Despite this, we open our doors daily, to provide the best care we can. Our present team are crumbling under the pressure and we ask you to be kind and  understanding. Every single person is at burnout rate and we fear the worst at losing more colleagues if things continue at this level.

If we are unable to offer you an appointment, please use other resources available to like NHS 111, LIVI, Walk In Centres, Pharmacists, A & E where applicable. All of these providers are accessible to support your needs, but with the NHS under tremendous pressure, please show patience to all of these service providers too.

We are hugely concerned about the welfare of our present team members and are afraid we will lose good team members, if the levels of abuse and threats towards staff continue.

This week alone, we have had to call the police out and have a patient removed from the practice list due to threats of violence. Please help us as we cannot continue at such levels.

We will be holding Practice Webinars from September and restarting our Patient Participation Group as well. If you are interested in supporting this and wish to understand more about your GP Practice and have some positive input of ways forward, you are encouraged to attend. We will be sending further details in due course.

Thank you for your help and continued support.

Dr Aneeta Hussain (GP Partner), Dr Kalum De Silva (GP Partner) and Ms Rajni Tandon (Practice Manager).